Relocation Support

Money Matters

As with any place you choose to live, the cost of living varies depending on the type of lifestyle you like to have and the area you choose to live in.

Opening a Bank Account

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You will probably wish to open a UK bank account once you are in the UK. It is useful to make some preparations for this before you arrive. Please also be aware that  it can take around 2 weeks for your account to be opened and for you be able to make transactions. It is therefore very important that you bring enough money to cover your expenses for this early period.

Most banks will require you to make an appointment to open an account with them. If you can, try to contact them before you travel. Some international banks can open an account for you in your current location and transfer it to the UK when you move. Otherwise it is sensible to arrange an appointment for when you arrive, otherwise you may find that at busy times of the year they are unable to see you for up to 3 weeks.

Different banks have different requirements, most will insist you have a UK address before they will open an account, but it is best to check with them what their requirements are.

If you would like us to provide you with a letter confirming your appointment, please fill in the form below entitled 'Bank Letter Request' and return it to

The University accepts no liability for any claims, penalties, losses or expenses arising from: any reliance placed on the content of this site; the use or inability to use the site; the downloading of any materials from the site; or any unauthorised access to or alteration to the site. Information provided on banking services is provided here for information purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of such banking services by the University.

Cost of Living

Edinburgh has a reputation for being an expensive city to live in. While that is true, most people tend to have a good standard of living here and there are always bargains to be found through exploring your new home.

For more detailed information on what you can expect to pay for accommodation to bread you can look at websites such as Numbeo. Which allows you to compare the prices against your current location.

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Managing Your Money

Edinburgh can be a fairly expensive city in which to live and work, so you should be proactive about managing your income and expenditure, especially if you are moving from a country where the general cost of living is lower.

The UK Government has a website which provides advice on many aspects of money management, and there are also many websites that give advice and tips on how to save and spend your money wisely. We have listed some of these below.


In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes

Benjamin Franklin

When you take up paid employment in the UK you have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance on your earnings.

HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs) is the tax authority in the UK. They have an extensive website with a lot of information about everything tax related. Here you will find fact sheets that explain UK Tax, National Insurance, Tax credits and National Minimum Wage. It is available in various languages and is particularly useful for newcomers to the UK.

You will have to pay Income Tax on your salary from the University. Income Tax is taken from your salary and paid to the government on your behalf by your employer (the University). Income Tax is automatically deducted each month and the amount deducted will be shown on your pay slip.

For more information please use the website links below.

National Insurance

For information on how to obtain a National Insurance Number please use the website link below:

National Insurance Number


If you have a specific tax query relating to your University salary, you can contact the University Payroll office. You can find their contact details here: